Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Life Lessons

This past weekend we had my family reunion. By parents, brothers, sister, and their families met at Mammoth Creek for the weekend. A good time was had by all. We usually rent a house that we can all fit in. This one was a cabin style on Mammoth Creek. It was a beautiful setting with the creek running right behind the cabin. We ate good food, played games, walked, talked, laughed, watched movies, hiked, and enjoyed each others company.

I was able to complete one of my bucket list items this year. There is a bike trail from Brian Head to Panguitch Lake that my family has ridden in the past. This is a ride that I have wanted to attempt for a long time and just never felt like I could do it. Well this year my brother, Jim, took me and my two sister in laws on the ride. Jim is an experienced rider and gave us pointers along the way. As I thought about his pointers they made a lot of sense in our daily life. I thought I would share some of my insight.

Rule #1: If the trail gets too difficult to ride it is okay to get off and walk. There was no shame in recognizing the trail was too difficult for my abilities and I needed to get off and walk through a particular section. Sometimes in life I think we need to get off and walk.

Rule #2: Whatever you focus on, on the trail, you will hit. So if you focus on a log or a big rock in your path you will utlimately hit it. Life is much the same. Wherever we put our focus that is what we will hit. Wow, so important to be focused on the right things.

Rule #3: Don't cross the chain. Meaning it is very difficult for the chain to work when it is small on front and big on back or big on front and small on back. The chain has difficulty functioning properly. The same goes for life. We have to live our lives in harmony with what we believe. It is important that our words and actions are in sinc with one another.

Rule #4: It is easier to go through soft sand quickly. When I was riding the trail and came to soft terrain it was so much easier to go through when I was going fast. The slower I went the more I got stuck and lost my balance. When we find ourselves caught in doldrums get out. Move through them quickly and get on to what is important.

Rule #5: It helps to have some guidance and encouragement along the way. As we traveled the trail my brother would stop and inform us as to what we could expect ahead of us. He would give us some pointers from his experience as how to best complete that leg of the trail. He would also give us encouragement and tell us what we were doing well. So it is with life. There are people put in our lives to guide us along the way. These people may have more life experience or knowledge and are there to help us avoid lifes pitfalls. They are also there to give us the encouragement we need to continue on when the journey gets tough.

Rule #6 Well this could have been rule #1 but should would protective gear. I never knew if or when I might crash along the way. Wearing the appropriate gear is so important. As it worked out I did crash and was grateful to be wearing a helmet so as to protect my head. We are given many opportunities in life to put on our protective gear. Our testimony is something that should be a great protection to us all of our lives. If we truly believe and follow what we know we will protected beyond our understanding. There are other things that will give us protection as well...prayer, scripture study, good friends, paying tithes, service...the list could go on.

Rule #7: Enjoy the journey. As we went on our ride it was so amazing to enjoy the journey and to take time to see the grand views, to observe nature, to learn to respect the elements, and to feel God's love. Life is a journey. We can get so wrapped up in the everyday tasks that we forget to enjoy the journey.

Rule #8: Take it at your own speed. My brother is an accomplished mountain bike rider and could ride the trail quite quickly. My sister in law has also ridden many trails and was more comfortable with the trail. I am a novice mountain bike rider and my skills were quite challenged. It was quite alright for me to go at my own pace and complete the ride. The other riders would go at their pace and then wait at a point in the trail for the rest to arrive. Then we would rest, get a drink, talk and then move on with the next leg of the trail. I learned I need to take life at my own pace. Even though there may be others who are speeding past me it is okay for me to take life at my own pace. It is good to take a break, get a drink, and regroup before going on to the next task before me.

Thanks to Jim, Lisa, and Tammy for a memorable ride. I learned so much that day. More about life than about riding a bike.

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